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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Qui Tam: An Abbreviated Look at the False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes

Qui Tam: An Abbreviated Look at the False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes

Date: August 6, 2009
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This is a brief discussion of the constitutional questions raised by qui tam provisions; of the history of such provisions; and of the three existing, active federal qui tam statutes--the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733; the false marking patent statute, 35 U.S.C. 292; and the Indian protection provisions of 25 U.S.C. 201.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Passports: Current Regulations

Passports: Current Regulations

Date: August 4, 2009
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.
Description: This report discusses current U.S. passport requirements and costs, as well as related policy concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Burma: Economic Sanctions

Burma: Economic Sanctions

Date: August 3, 2009
Creator: Niksch, Larry A. & Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009

Date: July 31, 2009
Creator: Smole, David P.; Mahan, Shannon M.; McCallion, Gail; Skinner, Rebecca R.; Bradley, David H. & Dortch, Cassandria
Description: This report reviews and briefly describes the proposals contained in H.R. 3221 to amend programs authorized under HEA and to establish and fund additional new education programs. It will be updated as warranted to track legislative developments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Border Searches of Laptop Computers and Other Electronic Storage Devices

Border Searches of Laptop Computers and Other Electronic Storage Devices

Date: July 28, 2009
Creator: Kim, Yule
Description: This report discusses a developing issue in the law of search and seizure: whether the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution permits warrantless searches of the content of laptop computers and other electronic storage devices at U.S. borders. The federal courts that have addressed this issue have held that the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment applies to these searches, making warrantless searches permissible.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Domestic Illegal Drug Enforcement Efforts: Are They Working?

Federal Domestic Illegal Drug Enforcement Efforts: Are They Working?

Date: July 28, 2009
Creator: Franco, Celinda
Description: This report examines the federal drug enforcement data reported annually by key agencies charged with enforcing federal drug control laws.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Passed by the House of Representatives

Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Passed by the House of Representatives

Date: July 27, 2009
Creator: Holt, Mark & Whitney, Gene
Description: This report offers an introduction and overview of legislation regarding greenhouse gases. It also discusses combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, vehicles and fuels, smart grid, energy efficiency, and major cap-and-trade provisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Passed by the House of Representatives

Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Passed by the House of Representatives

Date: July 27, 2009
Creator: Holt, Mark & Whitney, Gene
Description: H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, contains provisions that would amend the Clean Air Act to establish a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from covered sources 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by 2050. Following an overview, this report contains a section-by-section summary of H.R. 2454 as passed by the House, and interpretive or informative commentary for some sections, when appropriate.
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Private Health Insurance Provisions of H.R. 3200

Private Health Insurance Provisions of H.R. 3200

Date: July 27, 2009
Creator: Chaikind, Hinda; Fernandez, Bernadette; Peterson, Chris L. & Morgan, Paulette C.
Description: This report provides a short background describing key aspects of the private insurance market as it exists currently. This information is useful in setting the stage for understanding how and where H.R. 3200 would reform health insurance. Primarily, however, the report summarizes provisions affecting private health insurance in Division A (or Division 1) H.R. 3200, as ordered reported by the House Committees on Education and Labor and on Ways and Means.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Issues Regarding a National Land Parcel Database

Issues Regarding a National Land Parcel Database

Date: July 22, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report provides a summary of some of the issues regarding the creation of a national land parcel database, or cadastre. The report identifies some of the perceived needs for a national cadastre, legislative and administrative options that could lead to a national land parcel database, and some of the challenges and concerns. The report also summarizes and briefly discusses recommendations in a 2007 National Research Council (NRC) report that concluded "...a national approach is necessary to provide a rational and accountable system of property records."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Issues Regarding a National Land Parcel Database

Issues Regarding a National Land Parcel Database

Date: July 22, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report provides a summary of some of the issues regarding the creation of a national land parcel database, or cadastre. The report identifies some of the perceived needs for a national cadastre, legislative and administrative options that could lead to a national land parcel database, and some of the challenges and concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Date: July 21, 2009
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

Date: July 20, 2009
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin.
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Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Several bills introduced in the 111th Congress would either modify the COPS program, reauthorize appropriations for the program, or both.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress would reauthorize the COPS program through FY2014 and reestablish COPS as a multi-grant program. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report provides an overview of issues Congress may consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the Community Oriented Policing Services program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: Arieff, Alexis; Margesson, Rhoda & Browne, Marjorie Ann
Description: This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran is subject to a wide range of U.S. sanctions, restricting trade with, investment, and U.S. foreign aid to Iran, and requiring the United States to vote against international lending to Iran. A formal U.S. effort to curb international energy investment in Iran began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA was first passed at a time of tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran. Most notable was a 1995 ban on U.S. trade with and investment in Iran. That ban has since been modified slightly to allow for some bilateral trade in luxury and humanitarian-related goods. In the 110th Congress, two bills passed the House (H.R. 1400 and H.R. 7112) that would add several ISA provisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: The federal government loses both individual and corporate income tax revenue from the shifting of profits and income into low-tax countries, often referred to as tax havens. The revenue losses from this tax avoidance and evasion are difficult to estimate, but some have suggested that the annual cost of offshore tax abuses may be around $100 billion per year. Recent actions by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 industrialized nations have targeted tax haven countries, focusing primarily on evasion issues. There are also a number of legislative proposals that address these issues including the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (S. 506, H.R. 1265); draft proposals by the Senate Finance Committee; two other related bills, S. 386 and S. 569; and a proposal by President Obama. This report discusses this issue in detail.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: Congress has passed legislation to facilitate the reemployment of workers who through no fault of their own are let go by their employers. Among these laws is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, P.L. 100-379, enacted in 1988. This report discusses the WARN Act in brief, especially as related to Congress's renewed interest in the Act due to the current financial crises and recession.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea's Second Nuclear Test: Implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874

North Korea's Second Nuclear Test: Implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874

Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth; Manyin, Mark E.; Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Nanto, Dick K. & Niksch, Larry A.
Description: The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Res. 1874 on June 12, 2009, in response to North Korea's second nuclear test. The resolution puts in place a series of sanctions on North Korea's arms sales, luxury goods, and financial transactions related to its weapons programs, and calls upon states to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying such shipments. This report summarizes and analyzes Res. 1874.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment

Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Kim, Yule
Description: This report first outlines the statutes authorizing certain federal officers to conduct warrantless searches. It then addresses the scope of the government's constitutional authority to search and seize persons and property at the border. It also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally required for each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. Finally, this report lists several bills before the 111th Congress that address border searches. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional "border searches."
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The Technology Innovation Program

The Technology Innovation Program

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed " ... to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through highrisk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations. The elimination of ATP and the creation of TIP have renewed the debate over the role of the federal government in promoting commercial technology development. This report discusses the opposing sides of this ongoing debate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department